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Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF - and the ESA!

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FAIL

Re: Don't shoot the messenger, shoot the journalist.

Oh, Mr. Page, the journalist whose work on Fukushima I admire so much. That triumph of nuclear technology, remember?

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger, shoot the journalist.

byrresheim: by any rational definition of "triumph", Fukushima is one. No deaths, no releases of seriously harmful amounts of seriously harmful substances. Lewis was right, and has been proved so. Let's hope scaredy-cats (like you?) don't make it such that the lessons learned cannot be implemented. Nuclear is the only sensible way forward now, unless the eco-religionists get their way.

By the way, who is going to go to the developing nations and say "I've got some bad news and some good news. The bad news you will always be at the shitty level of subsistence you are now at. The good news is that everyone else will be at the same level!"

And another point: humans will always keep pushing for better lifestyles. Will there have to be taboos and ritual killings of anyone that innovates? "Old Bill down the road has changed the shape of his plough so it does a better job - get the hanging-rope".

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger, shoot the journalist.

"Let's hope scaredy-cats (like you?) don't make it such that the lessons learned cannot be implemented. Nuclear is the only sensible way forward now, unless the eco-religionists get their way."

Too late, at least in Japan. Yesterday's news brought the revelation that, having switched off 30% of their electricity generating capacity, Japan's government is now asking the people to reduce consumption by 15% in the next few months to avoid rolling blackouts.

The G8 should forget about Greece and start worrying about Japan.

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FAIL

"Extremist green campaigning group WWF"

I really couldn't be arsed reading beyond that first line. I just know everything after that is going to be utter bollocks.

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Stop

Re: "Extremist green campaigning group WWF"

"Extremist green campaigning group WWF". I only read this far too. Since when has the WWF been a group of Extremists? Are you thinking of Greenpeace? Or possibly the Da Lai Lama ?

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Re: "Extremist green campaigning group WWF"

since about two years ago.

Why not read what they write. And judge for yourself.

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Since when has the WWF been a group of Extremists?

Its quite a new development for WWF I think, but I haven't been paying attention. But it happens to a lot of these sorts of organisations. The really keen people tend to be the ones on the end of the bell curve, and they end up running things because they're the ones who put most commitment in.

Provided you share their world view the logic that "its more important to campaign to stop things going wrong than to act to fix things that have gone wrong" is impeccable. However by and large they still get the money in from people who think they are still shelling out to fix things, and don't share the world view, and that to my mind is somewhat dishonest.

See also...

- RSPCA

- RSPB

- National trust (less far along)

- OXFAM

add others to taste and personal bias....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Since when has the WWF been a group of Extremists?

I'll add Save the Children to that list. I once got threatened with the courts by their legal team. I was running a charity event where 50% was to go to STC, and 50% to someone else. They said if their name was being mentioned then all the money had to go to them.

Yes, thats right, the money people give to STC feeds a team of lawyers. Needless to say none of the money went to them, and none of mine ever will.

Anonymous because, well, they have lawyers.

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Joke

@Jimc

Indeed, they used to be a bunch of very good wrestlers!

Makes you wonder indeed...

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Re: "Extremist green campaigning group WWF"

Isn't it great to have an open mind!

Oh wait...

WWF are green campaigners - agreed?

WWF's report advocates extreme amounts of societal change to achieve their environmental goals - agreed?

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WTF?

If these idiots had the courage of their convictions

They would immediately suicide (in a carbon-neutral way) and leave the rest of us in peace.

My ancestors spent many millennia moving on from living in caves and I have no desire to return to them - there's a definite shortage of caves in Hertfordshire, and what there are are cold and draughty.

Man is the animal that changes his environment to suit himself. The greens of any flavour might not like that - though they seem quite happy to use the latest technology and infrastructure to live themselves and to try and shout about their point of view - but the simple fact is that *every* animal, plant, microbe, or whatever, uses as much of its local resources as it can. Always and without exception.

Assuming that 'equalising' things by reducing the haves to the level of the have-nots makes any kind of sense at all is idiocy of the finest order.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If these idiots had the courage of their convictions

You misunderstand righteousness.

If they can persuade a group of people to reduce their carbon emissions to the point where the total savings exceed the carbon footprint of the evangelist, then he has done net good in the world! Thus, he is driven to further his goals at all costs. It is for your own good, you know.

For the righteous man, failing to further his goals either by simple inaction or by the more effective means of offing himself makes the world a worse place in his view, and he doesn't want to be part of the problem. Evangelising ensues.

You'll note that most of the terms associated with this have a heavy religious leaning. I expect it comes from the same strange attractors in the human psyche that encourage self flagellation in the name of a god, only that's not quite so fashionable these days.

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Re: If these idiots had the courage of their convictions

"My ancestors spent many millennia moving on from living in caves and I have no desire to return to them"

Yes because when people lived in caves they had wind turbines outside and a hydroelectric dam down in the stream....

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Re: NomNomNom

No they didn't, and neither will you under the WWF's plan unless you can figure out how to build them from sticks.

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Re: NomNomNom

Yes because the report advocates making everything out of sticks.

Find me the part of the report where it says metal, concrete, etc should never be used again.

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Happy

Re: NomNomNom

I promise that I will go along with these bizarre notions spouted by WWF, Geenpeace, IPCC et al when all of the people advocating it have gone away and done what they preach for a suitable length of time - say 20 years - and shown that it is possible and desirable (i.e. no-one that starts the project gives up on it). Until this proof of concept has been done by those with most to gain from its success, then I'm just going to carry on with the fruits of civilisation - individual transport, heat on demand, clean water, a mature health-care system, etc - thank you very much.

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Re: NomNomNom

"I promise that I will go along with these bizarre strawmen"

Fixed it for you

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Re: NomNomNom

The cement industry *on its own* is responsible for 5% of global CO2 emissions. You *can* make steel using an electric furnace, but you'll need rather a lot of windmills out the back to drive it. (It would be a lot easier if you had a nice nuclear reactor out the back instead.)

But maybe you're right. Maybe the report doesn't say anything about that.

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Damnit I just insulated the house so according to this article I am poorer as I will use less heating in the winter.

At the same time we installed a window at the top of the roof that we can open in the summer to let the heat out of the house without using air-con so I will now be poorer all year round.

When the local "commune" installs regional-heating in 2 years time then I guess I will just have to accept that I am going to be on the bread-line, aa I will kinda feel obliged to use the cheaper (to me) heat source.

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Lol

Another non IT troll come over to The Reg to tell us how to live.

Hay dkjd whats TCP in TCP/IP stand for?

And photos of your new installed window in the top of your house or it didn't happen.

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Happy

Hurrah for Lewis Page

He's far overtaken BOFH in my weekly laugh stakes, some of the stuff he comes up with has me in stitches, the man's either a master Troll or an utter imbecile.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hurrah for Lewis Page

Troll or idiot.. difficult.

I'd go for troll.

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Re: Hurrah for Lewis Page

OK Lyod and A/C name one resource in the world that has run out?

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Re: Hurrah for Lewis Page

Dodos

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There are too many of us

Like it or not we have problems living on what the planet can supply us with. So we either reduce our population or take less per head of what is sustainable. The arithmetic is quite simple. Unfortunately many people stick their heads in the sand and think that we can have both, it is rather like the Greeks thinking that they can continue to avoid austerity while also not paying taxes and staying in the Euro.

Spend 5 minutes here:

http://populationmatters.org/

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Happy

Re: There are too many of us

Nope - according to the original Malthusian nonsense we all died years ago. This is just more of the same. The all assume fixed resources and no human ingenuity. If you look at anything around you, from your shoes to the computer you read this on the amount of resources needed to produce it has dropped radically over the last few years. Compared with the amount of energy Victorians needed to live we're doing really well on a fraction of the resources per person.

I remember people talking about the appalling starvation in Biafra and other places when I was a kid - subtext being "too many (black) people" - it was racist bollocks. In fact, when the economies pick up in those places a lot of the time the problem was not *enough* people, at least with a decent education. It was nasty politics and wars that killed those poor Africans. The Malthusian agenda of population matters is just a gentler version of allowing the disparities that caused these wars to continue for cynical political reasons.

As an example of this kind of double standard I remember the debate about sanctions against Iraq around the time of the first Gulf War. The right wing just wanted to go to go bomb Saddam and the left wanted to starve the Iraqis - I think the right wing position was more honest.

Population matters is this kind of softer approach - be more honest to just shoot people, but then the reality would be too hard to stomach.

Maybe I'm wrong.

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Re: There are too many of us

There are, indeed, too many humans ... mostly of the eco-commie and politico varieties.

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Re: There are too many of us

"according to the original Malthusian nonsense we all died years ago. This is just more of the same. The all assume fixed resources and no human ingenuity."

I think it's getting more serious. Use of fossil fuels is now at far higher levels than it was. In effect there are now two looming problems: emissions (climate) and fossil fuel peak.

The anti-malthusian argument is nothing more than "it didn't happen before so it can't ever happen!"

If you had a good reason. Sorry but "human ingenuity" doesn't cut it for me. It has limits. There's no guarantee it will provide solutions *in time*. Over a century of this ingenuity and we don't have fusion nor a decent replacement for fossil fuels.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There are too many of us

Peak oil is a crock.

We are not going to run out of "fossil fuel" energy any time soon.

It is the result of faulty logic, like malthus and Erlich before ...

Just because you have no ingenuity, that's your problem.

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Re: There are too many of us

"Over a century of this ingenuity and we don't have fusion nor a decent replacement for fossil fuels."

Where did you read this bollocks? Or did you just make it up? We have plenty of options for replacing fossil fuels (thorium reactors etc.) they're just not economically viable or politically appealing yet. As soon as the oil becomes uneconomic that will change.

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Happy

Re: There are too many of us

"Peak oil is a crock."

This from a boffin who has had his dip stick in many a well.

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Happy

Re: There are too many of us

Ah yes, but, ... a great chunk of what we use now wasn't regarded as resources years ago because we couldn't do anything with it. The overuse of oil is becoming worrying, but I do think that economics will sort it out eventually. The danger is some kind of oil is mandatory cabal will get together with the too many people thinking, strangle innovation, make us all eat kelp products and call it progress. This can only lead to poverty and suffering for the large number of people in the world who are still trying to get a decent standard of living for themselves and their kids. They need better technology than we have now.

Personally don't want to turn my back on these people, whatever Attenborough may say.

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Re: There are too many of us

"We have plenty of options for replacing fossil fuels (thorium reactors etc.)"

thorium reactors in cars and planes? yeah you haven't thought it through have you

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Re: There are too many of us

"Peak oil is a crock.

We are not going to run out of "fossil fuel" energy any time soon."

Peak oil doesn't mean running out of oil. Your next stop, wikipedia. Go now.

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Re: There are too many of us

The sensible technological species would be putting lots of effort into bringing materials and energy in from space. I'm not sure whether the slight glimmerings we are seeing in this direction are proof that we are sensible, or not.

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Re: There are too many of us

"thorium reactors in cars and planes? yeah you haven't thought it through have you"

If only there were some way to produce artificial hydrocarbons using the abundance of cheap energy a thorium reactor would provide... oh wait

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Re: There are too many of us

lol, anglo punks and "logic", as if logic had anything to do with that, besides being the most staightforward thing possible ...

funny airheads :)

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Headmaster

Lewis, you do love tilting at windmills don't you?

There is not a cat's chance in hell that such measures would get any form of serious political support at all. Not in the "developed world" or, for that matter, in the "underdeveloped world" because they have no plans to continue living in the kind of poverty they are still experiencing. The overwhelming majority of our fellow earthlings have absolutely no intention of living the kind of hair-shirt existence on a permanent basis that the extremist end of the sustainability movement are howling for. My question then is why are you devoting so many column inches to attacking these groups? One might almost get the impression that you have political problems with the basic concept of sustainability - and by that I do not mean the kind of stuff those loony-tunes are calling for.

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Boffin

Re: Lewis, you do love tilting at windmills don't you?

I'd hazard a guess that it's because:

1 - People listen to them

2 - They're not helping

Like celebrities their ill thought out plans and questionable numbers get given far too much credence and influence. If they were offering a reasonable and practical solution then I'd agree with you, but the whole point of the article is that the very solution they are proposing is prevented by their own requirements. Highlighting the preposterous nature of their proposals means that they might actually get ignored as they should, and maybe make them come up with something useful and factual.

Stupid stuff like this influences public opinion (see Greenpeace vs. Nuclear Power), causes faulty policies to be implemented (see feed in tariffs, excessive constraint payments, the whole wind can power everything idea), and does nothing to humanity.

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Whatever.

I've personally subsistence-level farmed my 53-ish acres in Mendocino County, for over three years. Just to prove to myself that I could do it.

I seriously doubt the author has any concept of what is involved in working the land.

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@jake Absolute, the expression "grinding hard labour" does not even begin to cover it.

My father when he was younger used to cultivate a moderately large vegetable garden. He enjoyed doing it and it kept him fit. However, despite his hard work it only provided about 20% of what we as a family needed in the course of a year. As he said himself, "bugger doing this on the large scale"!

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Re: @jake Absolute, the expression "grinding hard labour" does not even begin to cover it.

Actually, Arctic Fox, it wasn't all that difficult. Barter for pig parts & the like helped ... and fishing tended to keep the stress levels down. Humans lived like this for hundreds of thousands of years. Might not be the easiest way to make a living, but it was simple & honest.

Twenty years on, the wife & I still keep the gardens operational. And we have fresh eggs, homemade bacon, miscellaneous fermented beverages, bread, cheese, etc ...

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Re: Whatever.

Cracking, well done you, took you 53 acres eh?

Feel free to find a handy spare cheap 53 acres going in Surrey for me so I can try the same experiment.....

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@Lord of Cheese (was: Re: Whatever.)

Presumably, if you are the Lord of Cheese, you already have room for a dairy cow? Or a sheep? Or a goat? Or a camel? Or a ...

Grow up. Look around. Learn how to be a human being.

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Re: Whatever.

I got twenty acres, and you've got fifty-three.

I got a brand new combine harvester, and I'll give you the key...

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Re: Whatever.

Why would a measly 73 acres need a combine, if we are sharing our land, and subsistence level farming same?

Honestly, the mind boggles ... are we really that far removed from reality when it comes to where our nutrition comes from?

Yes, I grok where the quote comes from ... "I drove moi tractor thru' yer 'aystack larst noit" ... wasn't funny then, isn't funny now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Learn how to be a human being"

Be a human being, eh? That's a tall order. What of the doctors and engineers and designers and scientists and politicians and economists and soldiers and the army of labourers that built the nation and culture that let you choose to subsistence farm and yet still be able to use fantastically complex luxuries like internet forums? Do you think they've learned to be human beings, despite doing jobs, day in, day out, that don't involve directly prodcing their next meal?

Seems like you lead a fairly smug, privileged middle class lifestyle that is simply not available to much of the world. Don't lecture us on how much better you are because you can choose to farm as a hobby.

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@AC 11:14 (was: Re: "Learn how to be a human being")

Reality is, I can do the farming thing without iFads ...and without all the other miscellaneous "civilization" stuff you mention.

A large portion of humanity gets along just fine without it. Can you say the same? Can you live without electricity and town water for a couple months? I can.

Farming's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle. I'm not better than you ... but my eyes are open a trifle wider than yours, methinks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "without all the other miscellaneous "civilization" stuff you mention."

Ever had a vaccination? Has your wife? Have your children? What happens if you injure yourself whilst indulging in your hobby? What are the odds of your developing cancer in the future, and what will you do if it happens?

"A large portion of humanity gets along just fine without it"

Three words for you: nasty, brutish, short.

"Farming's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle"

I know people who claim being a dominatrix is a lifestyle too. That's lovely, but it is a choice. A large portion of humanity would love to have the luxuries you think so little of, but they can't, and so they are forced into living a certain way.

"but my eyes are open a trifle wider than yours, methinks."

Your bucolic little subsistence environment is a middle class luxury regardless of quite how rugged and hardcore you may feel. We could all live like that, sure. But it would involve a massive population decrease (where's all that arable land to come from? we can't all have our 53 acres), and a corresponding drop in life's little luxuries like a low infant mortality rate and long lifespans. Me, I like knowing that the chances of my kids being crippled by polio is pretty miniscule these days. How about you?

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